A delightful large size four-pointed cross takes us back to the ancient times of Byzantium. The cross, which has an equilateral shape, is considered to be Byzantine. The earliest examples of such ornaments were found on the sarcophagi of the first martyrs. The most popular place for the distribution of this form crosses was the eastern part of the empire of Rome, Byzantium. Today, you can also find such crosses in churches in Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece. On the territory of the Russian Empire, four-pointed crosses were used only in book graphics.
Deciphering the shape and image of the cross
The Byzantine cross has a versatile shape, it symbolizes harmony in the world created by God.
Its iconographic content is no less interesting. The front side is decorated with the great crucifix, which is the image of Orthodoxy, when, by sacrificing his life, Christ saved the whole world. At the very top is the inscription “NIKA”, which means “won” in Greek. On the left and right sides of Christ there are the Mother of God and the beloved disciple John the Evangelist. Behind Christ there is the great city of Jerusalem and Mount Calvary, where the Savior was crucified. This image also symbolizes the Heavenly Jerusalem, inaccessible to souls during the Old Testament.
The shining dove depicted above the crucifixion is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The dove sits on the throne, which according to legend is prepared for the Lord to sit there on the Day of judgment. It is decorated with images of angels on four sides. And at the bottom is a prayer inscription.
Traditionally, the back of the cross is decorated with the image of the Mother of God. She is depicted in the iconography “Joy of All Who Mourn”. The icon became famous in 1688 in Moscow. Now it is located in the church of the Icon of the Mother of God. Thanks to the faith in the healing of the icon, many people come in droves to pray and ask for help from the Mother of God. It is considered miraculous, and a large number of lists have been made from it.
Believers come to pray to the icon on many occasions:
- In sorrow;
- In misfortune;
- In complex or incurable diseases.
The image on the icon represents the suffering, unhappy people who came for help, and the Mother of God in turn extends her hands to them, giving them mercy. Under the icon there is an inscription that reads “Queen of heaven, get us out of trouble”.
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